What is a corn and a callus?
There’s only one slight difference between a corn and a callus: Corns occur at the top of the feet and over the toes, while calluses tend to come up on the ball or bottom of the foot, says podiatrist, Dr John Giurini. In both cases, it’s a thick tissue that develops over pressure points, Giruini explains. And both are usually caused by boney deformities – typically hammer toes can cause corns and abnormalities along the bones of the foot can lead to calluses. “They’re almost always related to some type of abnormality,” says Giurini.
While Giurini says you can use at-home treatments and over-the-counter meds to treat corns and calluses, they do often come back (unless you fix the structural problem). In the meantime, try these remedies to curb the issue.
Giurini says the simplest thing to do with corns and calluses is to shave them down. So soak your feet in warm water for about 10 minutes, then take a pumice stone to the infected area.
Apple cider vinegar
Most over-the-counter creams include an acid (typically salicylic), which dissolves the thick skin and helps the extra layer fall off, Giurini explains. Apple cider vinegar works similarly. Try dabbing it on with a cotton ball or holding it on the rough patch for a few minutes to let it soak in. One important note: “[Acids] don’t discriminate between thickened skin and normal skin,” says Giurini. “That means this can lead to irritation. Patients with diabetes shouldn’t use these, as it could cause a sore that may not heel.” Be careful when you apply any acid, trying to maintain it to the affected area only. If your skin gets red, irritated, or burns, stop using the treatment.